The Valenciana Suite
Collage Works March/April 2003
View the collages

The importance of my sketchbooks in the development of my work cannot be overstated or overemphasized.  They are an invaluable repository of visual ideas, notations regarding juxtapositions of shapes and surfaces, issues of scale and tests of color combinations. I refer to them constantly when beginning new work because of their immediacy and closeness to my thought process and the numerous variations on and solutions to visual ideas.

For some time I have wanted to develop these visual notes into drawings that stand on their own as more fully realized pieces.  Because they so often involve a combination of collage and drawing,  I wanted to explore the contrasts, tensions and complicated relationships between these different elements.  I also wanted to concentrate on the physical nature of the collage papers and the gestures of drawing, how they function differently and sometimes the same, mimicking one another.

In March 2003 I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Valenciana, Mexico, a small town above and overlooking Guanajuato.  The working conditions were perfect and I decided to attempt  developing these sketchbook notations into finished collage drawings that would function as independent works.  It was an extremely intense and productive period.  Even after careful editing, I returned to Los Angeles with twenty-seven completed pieces.  I did six more somewhat larger works here that were a summing up of the ideas and forms I had been working out.

In total this body of work consists of thirty-three collage drawings.  Because they all deal with similar visual ideas and they were done in such a short and intense period of time, I think of them as a suite.  I have called it The Valenciana Suite for the town in Mexico where they were done.

James Zver

Los Angeles
October 2003
Installations    Early    Mood Enhancer   Valenciana   Winter    From the Dordogne      Cambrian     The Summer Series